Rural climate skeptics are costing us time and money. Do we keep indulging them?
It was a typical warm afternoon in August, with a little rain in the air. I sat at my desk, where I had spent part of the afternoon in a meeting. As the phone rang, I grabbed my jacket, pulled on my boots and, with the door open to the hallway, hurried into the rain.
The office was warm. My phone beeped with emails from colleagues as I walked to my car.
By 9:45, I was pulling up in the driveway. I got into the car and I drove home.
Not because I was annoyed that some bureaucrat I used to work with had done something stupid again or because I had an urgent meeting that required my presence at a restaurant.
Not because I was busy dealing with a problem.
I could have gotten the task done while it was still in its early stages. But I had been looking forward to my Tuesday-afternoon ride to work, my last full day of being the only non-resident to the area.
When I get home, I am greeted with the same familiar scene: lights on, dinner on the table, laundry waiting to be folded, children watching television with one parent. They come to expect it. Even those who aren’t quite ready for it. As the summer wears on, people settle in for more of the same.
By September, they are tired of it. But for many it is a comfortable and familiar place. They don’t have to travel to get to work. They don’t have to leave their kids at school. They can enjoy the warm weather. Some of them, for the first time have time to work on their writing. For the first time, they get to think about the day—the future.
“What if this is never-ending?”
This is the question that started me on this path. In August 2012, I gave up a summer job as a business development manager to work as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-